I've yet to see a reasonably objective review of the Whistler Cruisader, so I thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in. All my comparisons are made to the escort X50 which I consider a pretty good radar detector! The bike it's for is a Honda CBR '05 F4i
Out of the box, the Cruisader looks like a nice piece of kit. The antennae looks quite durable had should easily mount inside the front fairing or just underneath it. I intend to mount the LED somewhere where it shines right in my eyes, but I doubt that it would be noticable in bright daylight! The main display unit will be a much more difficult installation. None of the hardware supplied will work for the F4i. It seems to be more designed for "cruiser" handlebars than for sport bike "clip ons". I'm sure I'll figure something out, but it won't be easy! The display is nice, but I doubt that it will be readable in daylight. The "in-helmet" display works remarkably well, although I haven't installed it yet so I don't know how I will like it actually riding.
I've been driving around with the unit set up on the dash of my car for a couple of weeks now, so I have a little insight on it's operation. I've also been running it alongside my escort (I know, a radar testers taboo!) Here's what I've found after a recent road trip from Vancouver B.C. to Seattle:
Generally speaking, The Cruisader seems to be a bit less sensitive than the Escort. It reacted to false alarms on X and K bands later and stopped earlier than the Escort. All settings were on Highway. When the Whistler is put on City 1 it is quite a bit quieter in the city that the Escort on City. On the trip to Seattle, they each had 16 X falses. The Escort had 8 K falses while the Cruisader had only 4. Interstingly, quite a few falses that registered as K on the Escort were reported as X on the Cruisader! I don't know what the impact would be if the x band were defeated on the Cruisader. The Cruisader had 2 Ka falses, while the Escort had none. There were no Laser falses.
Unfortunatly, I didn't come across any radar traps or those speed warning signs. The only thing I found was a possible interstate trap while I was off the highway at a cloverleaf "on ramp" (off axis). The Escort went crazy on the K band (24.150) the whole time while the Cruisader just had a few blips. The Cruisader reacts appropriately to my "Highway Zapper" which triggers radar detectors on X band.
On the whole, I don't think the Cruisader is as good a detector as the Escort, But there's no way I'm gonna have a portable on my bike. The detector must be permanently installed, weatherproof, concealed (to police and thiefs) and have easily noticeable alerts. The Cruisader has all these attributes except the last one. In general, I don't think that visual alerts work as well as audible ones! The dash LED won't be that usefull. I'll have to wait until I install the helmet display, but I think that it will work better (but I'm not sure about sunglasses). I'm going to contact the radar screamer people and see if it will work with the cruisader. as I think that this might be the best warning. I'm not sure if the Cruisader uses proprietary circuitry for it's "add on voice module" or if it's just a speaker.
Unfortunately, I still haven't accomplished the "acid test" - ie real radar, or at least a speed warning sign. After all, that's what it's really all about! I will keep you posted when I have done the complete install and have some real radar results to post.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has mounted the display on a sports bike. Also, if anyone knows if you can just attach an earpiece or speaker to the output jack please let me know.